The side brain gourmet

The side brain gourmet

Why can not bear children and vegetables (almost) always have room for dessert?, The key lies in how the brain works, a “gourmet” that crazy surprises, according to Professor Javier Cudeiro, author of Mouthwash with the brain.

The work grew out of a conversation with Ferran Adria, in which the chef said his idea of having rewritten by the late writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, “The Physiology of Taste” by Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the first book of nineteenth century that addresses the cuisine from the scientific perspective.The side brain gourmet

“Mouthwash with the brain,” explains how to interpret them through whatever senses smell, touch, see … and which neurons are activated for some dining experiences resulting “relaxed”, explains Cudeiro, Professor of Physiology, dedicated to study of sensory systems.

And, although the man is a “machine to predict,” or put another way: he wants to know what will happen from time to time, the brain loves the chef will be enthralled by the unexpected.

For example, an exact replica of an egg, whose shell is actually white chocolate, or an olive that keeps inside “pica pica”.

“If what you are predicting the brain is not what you expect-and-chefs come here, comes a kind of alarm or surprise. May or may not be pleasant, but it is always attractive,” says the professor of the University La Coruna, in northwestern Spain.

And why there is always room for dessert, “interrogates the author of” Mouthwash with brain “(editorial Waterfall). The reason is to be found in the orbitofrontal cortex, located above the eye sockets and blanket the neurons responsible for sensory information.

After a heavy meal, a group of neurons decrease their activity and the agency receives the message that is enough, but “if you suddenly enter, for example, dessert, these neurons resume their activity and tell other brain areas that despite having a hollow satiety “.

Something similar can occur with neuronal cells related to smell when they receive a stimulus (odor) constant of a food, so they stop “working” and there is a fleeting feeling of satiety.

The author also explains why children can not stand vegetables: are “superdegustadores”, like some adults with a superior ability to capture the remaining sensory food, because they have a greater number of taste buds.

This means that in the case of children, perceived more intensely certain flavors like bitterness of vegetables like turnip greens or Brussels sprouts.

The brain is also responsible for the lack of appetite when we sleep, because there is a mechanism within it to “play” with the hormones leptin and ghrelin, the latter causing appetite.

During sleep, “ghrelin secretion decreases and increases in leptin (a hormone that tells you not to eat more).”

On the other hand, says the professor, it is not possible to say whether humans have nerve cells more inclined towards sweet, salty .., because they tend to be compensated and therefore, there is everything.

But it is true, adds, “looking for the components necessary for life, such as salt, sweet versus not as essential elements.”

Perhaps, in a tone of ironic humor-we are witnessing the birth of a new discipline neuroscience: the neurogastronomía.

It would not be surprising that the neuro-ethics arise or techniques to discover liars in court by the images offered by MRI, concludes.